Despite the adverse weather conditions, members from the project team of the Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology managed to visit habitat type 9560* on Mt. Oiti. The purpose of this visit was to collect vegetative parts of Juniperus foetidissima appropriate for grafting on 3-year-old individuals of Cupressus sempervirens. During the current vegetative period only some 150 individuals will be grafted, as a trial. Dependent on the results, large-scale grafting will be carried out in the coming years of the project.
Conservation of priority forests and forest openings in "Ethnikos Drymos Oitis" and "Oros Kallidromo" of Sterea Ellada, LIFE11 NAT/GR/1014
Members of the project team attended the board meeting of the Management Body of the National Park of Oiti, which was held on Tuesday, March 12, at the offices of the Body in Loutra Ypatis. The team members presented in detail the actions included in the project. During the discussion the two parties agreed to cooperate on specific issues and actions for the protection of the area.
Approximately sixteen thousand Cypress Cupressus sempervirens seedlings are being grown at the Institute of Forestry Research of Athens. Seedlings will be used as rootstocks for inoculation with grafts from Juniperus foetidissima. Then, they will be transplanted on Mt. Oiti to enrich and conserve the specific habitat type (9560*) on the mountain.
The project’s Scientific Coordinator, Mr Kyriacos Georghiou, Associate Professor at the National and Kapodestrian University of Athens, presented the project to the members and friends of Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature. More than fifty people attended the presentation which took place at the HPSN’s offices. There followed a lively discussion, during which the project team replied to the questions of the audience. Many of the participants expressed their willingness to provide voluntary support for the project, as needed. They also asked for visits to the project areas to be organized for the member of the HSPN.
The project manager, Mr. Christos Georgiadis, presented the project LIFE11NAT/GR/1014 “ForOpenForests” in the Conference titled "Tourism Development: the alternative identity of the Municipality of Amfiklia - Elateia." The conference was organised by the Municipality of Amfiklia - Elateia in the Papakosteio Cultural Center, on Saturday, December 15 and Sunday, December 16, 2012. Representatives from the regional government and development agencies, stakeholders from the region, entrepreneurs, and local residents attended the conference. Between the presentations and during the visits organized by the Municipality, the project manager discussed the possibilities of cooperation and the relevance of the project actions to other development projects in the region.
In the context of the Action A.9, the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature, as responsible beneficiary for its implementation, hired the ornithologist Charalambos Alivizatos. His work will entail several visits to the project area at regular intervals, in order to locate and stusy the 5 bird species (Aegolius funereus, Alectoris graeca, Dryocopus martius, Denrocopos leucotos and Picus canus) targeted by the project. His first visits in the field have already taken place, following various routes and points (this is still a pilot stage). Signs of the three woodpecker species have been detected (typical holes in trees and signs of feeding) and there were attempts to locate the 5 aforementioned species with the help of recorded calls.
As coordinating beneficiary of LIFE11NAT/GR/1014 “ForOpenForests”, the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature participated with its project team in the kick-off meeting for LIFE projects from Greece and Cyprus, whose implementation started in 2012. The meeting was held on 15 November 2012, at the premises of the Forest Research Institute of Athens (Greek Agricultural Organization "DEMETER") and was organised by the external monitoring team of LIFE projects in Greece and Cyprus, Astrale. The meeting was attended by beneficiaries of all LIFE projects that started in 2012, and they presented their projects in brief. Staff members of the European Commission were also present, and they provided useful technical and financial advice for the implementation of projects.
After the presentation of the project to the Environmental Committee of the Region of Sterea Ellada, the project team visited part of the project site, specifically the National Park of Mt. Oiti. The group approached the area from the village of Loutra Ypatis (Thermal Springs of Ypati), where they visited the offices of the Management Body and ended the trip in the village of Pavliani, on the southern side of Mount Oiti. Two staff members of the Managing Body escorted the group. Along the way, the team visited the Monastery of Agathonas and the Museum of Natural History housed there, which will be upgraded as part of the project, two temporary ponds, the alpine meadows and Stinking Juniper (Juniperous foetidissima) forests. The team members also had the opportunity to enjoy the unique scenery carpeted with the first snow of the year.
The participating partners formally launched the 5-year-project LIFE11NAT/GR/1014 “ForOpenForests” with its first public presentation. This presentation took place on 08/11/2012, in Lamia, during a meeting of the Environmental Committee of the Region of Sterea Ellada, chaired by Regional Vice-Governor for the Environment and Development, Mr. Nikolaos Betsios.
The meeting was attended by representatives from numerous regional authorities and bodies, from the municipalities of the project area, from environmental organisations, from the Managing Body of the National Park of Mt. Oiti, as well as many citizens of the area. The coordinator of the project, Mr. Nikos Petrou, Chairman of the HSPN, the Scientific Coordinator, Professor Kyriakos Georghiou, and the Project Manager, Mr. Christos Georgiadis, presented the various aspects of the project, and then answered a variety of questions in the extensive discussion that followed.
As part of the implementation of Action C.5, experts from the Forest Research Institute of Athens who are involved in the project traveled to southern Crete, namely in the area of Anopolis, in the region of Sfakia, to collect seeds of Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) at high altitude. They will be planted in order to produce seedlings, which will be then grafted with Juniperus foetidissima grafts, probably in February 2013, when the age of the seedlings will be appropriate.